Dec 18, 2013

a little bit about me...

I was born and raised in both NY and Tokyo. My family also lived in New Jersey and Las Vegas before we settled in a very small town some thirty miles outside of the city. It is one of those towns where everyone at the local diner and café knows your name, the population is tiny, and roaming deer are abundant. It is quaint and beautiful. The fact that the most amazing city is around the corner helps to stem any small town boredom that can and does arise. My childhood was idyllic and ideal.

The other part of my upbringing was spent in the neon city of Tokyo—the antithesis of American small town living. My formative years (that tumultuous horror show called adolescence) were spent assimilating into Japanese culture as best I could. Multiple schools, a young musical and modeling career later, I returned to NY for fear of losing the American part of me. English had been replaced by Japanese at some point, and those awkward reverse culture shock years were spent honing my language skills with episodes of “Friends”. I figured that comedic banter was the way to communicate, as television had so convincingly assured me. (I never got the hang of this—preferring the Japanese way of cheerful and very un-sarcastic conversation…)

After high school, I ditched tradition, and put off college for self-discovery and adventures in “the real world” in New York City. It was perfect, and I never regretted the decision. I found a job in a little restaurant on the Lower East Side, an apartment to share with similarly idealistic roommates and ever-present roaches, in a rough neighborhood (much to the great chagrin of my family), enrolled in a few acting classes, and generally loved the heck out of my time there.

New York City is my first love—an electric, exciting city, with a little something for everyone. It is
inhabited by every kind of person from all over the world. The beauty of NY is that all of these worlds can mix and mingle to form this gorgeous free-for-all. One can truly discover oneself, unhindered by societal rules. After the group mentality of Japan, and the restrictions and judgment that can exist in a small town, this was the most welcome change for me. I found the core of myself here. It is in NYC that I discovered that it was ok to not “fit in” (and with the vast variety in this world, how impossible this is if we want to venture out of any given place!); that my eclectic experiences and unconventional thoughts borne of cultural confusion had a real home. My adoration for this city that freed me knows no bounds.

After this wonderful time in NYC, I went back to the suburbs to get an Associates degree, spend some time with my family who is purely amazing. Are they quirky? Yes. Fantastic? Without a doubt. I would never change the experiences that filled these years for the world, as they have definitively shaped me, and filled me with a gratitude that goes far, far beyond words. A few years of soul searching later, I made another leap across the ocean and cultural divide to devote some time to acting and re-discovering language and another way of being in Japan.
The years I spent in Japan were exciting, always challenging, and frequently joyful. I worked regularly in musical theater, modeling, and was a series regular in a couple of TV shows. I also made some of the best friends of my life, spent quality time with my family, and cried oceans when it was time to leave for a new adventure.

The next stop was Los Angeles, and as I said before, it is here that I met my soul mate, got married, and had a little girl (This is a little miracle that I will talk about in another post). I continue to be stretched in a myriad of ways. Life is challenging, but I believe that’s true if we are living it fully. I never want to fall into complacency. There is so much to learn, to experience, to appreciate, to open to. Life is so very beautiful.

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